A Tennessee National Guard soldier who was on his way out of the service due to a line-of-duty injury spoke exclusively with The Tennessee Star about his experience being forced to accept the COVID-19 vaccine and the negative reaction it likely caused to his health.

The soldier spoke on the condition of anonymity because he does not want to risk losing his VA benefits.

The soldier gave a complete account to The Star about how he was originally told that due to the ongoing processing by the medical board that he was not being forced to receive the COVID vaccine and how that information changed a few months ago.

The soldier was originally injured in the line of duty in 2016.

“So basically, the past few months I’ve been waiting for my medical evaluation board packet. It is what happens when a soldier has an active line-of-duty injury. Upon waiting for the completion of this process, the COVID mandate came into effect,” he said.

“I was told initially that I’m good, I’m not being tracked on it. That meant to me that I didn’t have to worry about anything, that I didn’t have to worry about getting the COVID shot because I cannot be retained or continue my military service due to being deemed unfit because of my line-of-duty injury. I was just waiting to be processed out,” the soldier continued. “Last August, I was basically told that I’m good. Go through the process of being out-processed.”

The guardsman then explained when everything changed.

“Well, within approximately the last two months, I was told all of a sudden I had to go to this event for non-vaccinated soldiers at a base. I questioned my readiness NCO, which is the active duty personnel that runs the armory Monday through Friday and on drill weekends,” he said.

“I asked them, ‘Why do I have to attend this event since I was told that I’m not being tracked. I was told I didn’t have to get a COVID shot.’ Of course, there was no reply. I guess he didn’t want to be tracked or say anything on the record,” the soldier said. “I fell back on what I was being told the whole time, that I was not being tracked since I was on my way out.”

The Tennessee National Guard soldier then explained what happened when he was forced to attend the event for unvaccinated personnel.

“It was a big surprise to me that I was forced to go to the event. There I signed that I refused the COVID vaccine. I was not going to get the shot because I thought I was still good, since I was leaving the service due to the line-of-duty injury,” he said.

“Upon the end of the event, I went back to the armory where my unit was and that same readiness NCO that wouldn’t respond to me told me that he asked about me and that I did have to get the shot or I would be kicked out. I was also told that my medical board process would stop. So my already pre-existing line-of-duty injury from 2016, everything that has occurred, my VA benefits – everything would be wiped away if I don’t get the COVID shot,” he explained.

The soldier then explained just how important his benefits are to his family and six children.

“I was reluctant. For my civilian job, I have to maintain a security clearance because I deal with hazmat material. If I was kicked out for refusing the COVID shot then I’d lose my clearance. I was faced with either having to go homeless because my wife and I cannot afford to live on just her salary. We have car payments, rent, electric, and the cost of feeding six kids,” he said. “I was told I’d lose all my VA benefits. I’ve been trying to build my credit. It was either get the shot or I would lose everything.”

The guardsman explained what happened after he received his first COVID shot.

“One day I just said screw it and I went and got it. I was nervous about it. It’s an experimental drug in my opinion. So I got the COVID shot and didn’t really experience anything at first other than a really sore arm that lasted about a week or so,” he explained. “On the fourth day when I was at work, I didn’t really feel well during the day. Then at night, I had an adverse reaction. I became real dizzy. I felt like I was going to black out. My heart started racing and I was short of breath.”

“Mind you, I wasn’t doing any strenuous physical labor or anything. I was just standing there. As time passed, the symptoms because persistent,” he said. “A sheriff’s deputy came by and I asked for assistance. He let me sit in his car. He looked at me and said that he didn’t know what my normal skin complexion was but that my skin had turned gray. I said, ‘You mean pale?’ He said, ‘No. You look gray.'”

“The deputy then called an ambulance and I went to the emergency room. They ran every test that they could and they had no explanation for my symptoms. I was even having memory issues.”

Upon discovering that I had just received the COVID vaccine a few days ago at the time, after being released from the hospital, a pharmacist told me to hold off from receiving the vaccine,” he said.

After receiving the first shot, the soldier told The Star that he’s had persistent shortness of breath, memory issues, and other symptoms that persist to this very day. He also informed The Star that a heart monitor is scheduled to be delivered to him for further monitoring.

After all of this, the Tennessee National Guard is still attempting to force the soldier to get the second COVID vaccine shot. “I don’t know what to do. I still don’t want to get the second shot after everything that’s happened, but I have to take care of my family’s future. I just don’t know what to do,” he said.

The soldier said he was told that the reason they are still attempting to force him to receive a second shot is because he “can’t conclusively prove that the first shot made him ill.”

June 30 was the deadline for members of the Guard and the military to comply with Biden’s COVID vaccine mandate. Those who outright refused reportedly had to turn in their gear and are not being paid, sources say. This soldier is still going through the process due to his line-of-duty injury process.

Those who requested religious or medical exemptions are awaiting adjudication of their requests, although it is not considered likely for those requests to be granted.

Guard members who have not complied with the vaccine mandate are awaiting separation papers, a process which takes months.

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Aaron Gulbransen is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]. Follow Aaron on GETTRTwitterTruth Social, and Parler.
Photo “Tennessee National Guard Members” by Tennessee National Guard.